PROVODNIKOV, MOLINA: Two Fighters, Not One Reverse Gear Between Them



PROVODNIKOV, MOLINA: Two Fighters, Not One Reverse Gear Between Them
Emily Harney

Action is expected, it is promised and I dare say it is guaranteed when Ruslan Provodnikov meets John Molina on June 11, and on Showtime.

Two souls without one reverse gear will collide at Turning Stone in Verona, NY in a cut man's special.

Coagulant will be used that night…

The principals convened in Manhattan to eat steak and chat with media on Monday.

These guys said all the right things, not cliched really, because they speak the truth about what they are: old school style fighters whose fiber is devoted to combat.

“We’re never say die fighters,” said Molina, who kinda sorta needs a win here, or he is in danger of getting calls to be the steppingstone B side. “We come forward. It’s literally like two trains that are going to collide. It’s a can’t miss fight.

“I have to prepare for someone that has a never say die attitude. He’s like a virus that will never go away. He’s a hell of a fighter – he has a big heart and a big will. It’s tough to beat a guy that wants to win.”

Yes, Molina has a clear vision of what will be in front of him June 11. In front of him is the key term; when faced with more slippery Adrien Broner last year he couldn't get a read or a bead on the Cincy boxer. Molina will know what Ruslan had for lunch that day…

“We’re going to give the fans a treat, a Gatti-Ward type fight. I expect nothing less. We can have a phone booth, we don’t need a big ring.

“The judges probably don’t even need to be there because we’re going to decide the fight ourselves.”

Yes, this age features fewer of these sorts of mindsets, because this is the age of concussion awareness. Molina is a throwback…

Ruslan's English is limited. He says “Showtime” very well, understandably since they've made a solid commitment to him, respect the eyeballs he brings with him and see him in the mix with their 140s and smaller 147s, like Danny Garcia.

“As soon as I heard the name John Molina, I jumped on it,” he said, in Russian, as promoter Art Pelullo looked on and manager Vadim Kornilov translated. “Molina fights with the type of style that people want to see. He brings the action.

“June 11 is another Fight of the Year-type fight. You can expect fireworks.

“People expect action fights when I get in the ring. I appreciate that SHOWTIME saw a value in what I can offer and I want to make sure that I don’t let them down.

“We’re both punchers, we both go forward, we both fight in a risky style,” he said. “I think that’s going to make this fight a fight that everybody should watch.

“The fight is already a huge motivation, but the fact that the Hall of Fame is the same weekend is definitely great. I’m definitely pleased to know that because hopefully one day I can be a part of that.”

This guy simply lives for this sort of style match and props to Showtime for finding two of a kind to face off.

Now, last thing…

This pic…


What the heck is going on here? Some sort of voodoo thing, aimed at HBO?

I called over to the Showtime office to get the scoop. Here's the deal. That doll was gifted from Ruslan to the Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza. The doll is the sort than can be found around where Ruslan grew up, Siberia. The conferee will be blessed with power and riches and good fortune, supposedly.

Ok, well Espinoza seems to be fairly blessed. So maybe that doll's vibes can be converted to good fortune for the fans: may Provodnikov v. Molina live up to expectations as a contender for Fight of the Year.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.

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